Beignets Are All they Have

Started this beautiful day by getting all dressed up (just means a shower, pants and a blouse instead of a baseball hat and shorts) and walked down to Brennan’s. No reservation so we wanted to be first in line for a walk in…sadly, the host came out at 9:00 and said they were closed for a wedding. What the heck? Maybe a note on the website? So Plan B was to go to Café du Monde.

And in general, New Orleans has some of the best people-watching I’ve ever found. This morning was no exception.

Glen got us a table and I got in line. It was a long line on this holiday morning, but it moved quickly. I usually get in the wrong line (bad line karma), but today I guessed right. As I gathered our order and arrived at our table, I heard the tail end of a conversation Glen was having with the woman at the table next to him. She said, “At home, restaurants serve you. I’m not used to standing in line.”

What? She said this as she was seated with her Ritz Carlton plastic to-go cup with orange juice and…vodka? Champagne? Her hot pink outfit made her pretty hard to miss. (I have some snarky adjectives I could add, but it’s Sunday.) Shortly after I arrived, her husband arrived with their order saving her the awful pain and inconvenience of standing in line.

But wait! Don’t you travel so that you can experience other ways of doing things? So that you can experience other cultures? Don’t you travel because you learn about other people and places? Isn’t the point of travel to experience new and different ways of life? If I wanted New Orleans, or anywhere else to be like home, then I’d f’ing stay home! I only wished I’d thought to ask her why she travels.

As I sat down and tried to “unhear” that comment, I observed a couple as they came to another nearby table. They talked quietly and then the woman left to get in line. As she returned a short while later, she said to her husband, “Beignets are all they have.” They got up and left in a huff, probably looking for scrambled eggs. Do your damn homework.

Wow. Those two interactions put me in a bad mood – or in a push which is just another way of saying that I had a negative reaction to an experience .

And yet, our beignets were the best we’ve had because they were piping HOT!!! Glen says that’s because of the volume that they were producing to meet the holiday demand.

And the band that perennially sits right outside the seating area at the Café was playing a bluesy jazz which is my favorite. And then they had to go and play Amazing Grace which got me out of my push and a bit tearful. How lucky are we to get to live this life? To experience and learn about different ways of doing things. To talk with different people, even when they are annoying. To eat different food. To walk different streets. To learn. To experience “different”. That’s why I travel.

Three foreign flags that had a significant impact on the creation of New Orleans as we know it today. These do not represent the indigenous people who are often forgotten in conversations about the culture here..



Published by gat2jdt2

60 something retirees (or semi-retirees) learning to live differently

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